Academy apologizes to Sacheen Littlefeather after 50 years of unfortunate incident
Nearly half a century after she was treated rudely and harassed after she declined Marlon Brando’s Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued an apology to Native American activist and actor Sacheen Littlefeather.
Littlefeather made history in 1973 when she delivered the first political speech at an Academy Awards ceremony. Shortly after Marlon Brando was named the winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in “The Godfather,” Native American activist and actor Sacheen Littlefeather approached the stage to address the media’s portrayal of Native Americans.
Littlefeather received both cheers and jeers for her remarks. She said that John Wayne assaulted her and dragged her offstage in a recent interview with the Academy’s digital magazine, A.frame.
Former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president David Rubin offered an apology to Littlefeather in June for her treatment.
Rubin’s apology read “I write to you today a letter that has been a long time coming on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with humble acknowledgment of your experience at the 45th Academy Awards, As you stood on the Oscars stage in 1973 to not accept the Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando, in recognition of the misrepresentation and mistreatment of Native American people by the film industry, you made a powerful statement that continues to remind us of the necessity of respect and the importance of human dignity.”
“The abuse you endured because of this statement was unwarranted and unjustified. The emotional burden you have lived through and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable,” the statement said. “For too long the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.”
Furthermore, on September 17th, the academy has planned “An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather,” a discussion with Littlefeather about reflection, healing and celebration.